Clash of the Champions Count-Up – #31: Hogan Enters The Dungeon

Clash of the Champions 31
Date: August 6, 1995
Location: Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida
Attendance: 4,059
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Oh great it’s 1995 WCW. We’re about a month before Nitro began airing so Saturday Night is still the main show. The main event tonight is Vader vs. Anderson vs. Flair in a handicap match. Hogan isn’t on the card so it’s a bit hard to get into it. Oh ok he’s going into the Dungeon of Doom. Didn’t he do that before? Whatever. Let’s get to it.

By the way I only have 15 of these left so I’ll be doing them more often to try to get them over with I think.

Meng/Kurasawa vs. Sting/Hawk

Yes that Hawk. Kurasawa is a guy that showed up, broke Hawk’s arm, had a weak feud with him and was gone after that for the most part. I don’t remember Animal being around at all at this point so I have no idea why he isn’t here. This show is on a Sunday. That’s weird for a COTC. Big brawl to start and Hawk gets a horrible dropkick to Meng. This is Kurasawa’s second match in WCW. His first was yesterday.

He and Hawk start us off properly with Hawk no selling everything. Off to Sting who is US Champion. Hogan is here and will enter the Dungeon of Doom later. Ooo if this is what I think it is we’re in for a major debut. The match is kind of going back and forth here with nothing significant happening yet. Hawk gets his arm worked on for awhile now as we settle down into a regular match.

Kurasawa takes him to the floor and hits what would become one of his finishers in the form of a spinebuster position but he drops backwards, kind of like a backdrop without letting go. Hawk gets a boot up back in and a clothesline sets up….a dragon sleeper? From Hawk? Ok then. Either way things get broken up and it’s Meng in now. This has a weird feel to it. It’s not bad or anything but it’s not what you would expect from these four. I think it’s Sting doing nothing so far.

Powerbomb gets two on Kurasawa and Sting takes Meng down with a top rope clothesline. Meng tries to come off the top and everything breaks down again. Stinger Splash hits Meng and a bulldog takes him down. Sting and Hawk set for a Doomsday Device on Kurasawa and it ends things clean. That came out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. This was there for the post match attack which we’ll get to in a minute. The match wasn’t bad but it was pretty forgettable for the most part. I still don’t get the point in having Hawk get the push here and not Sting who is already the US Champion. Either way for an opening match on a special I’m fine with it.

Post match Kurasawa grabs the arm of Hawk and snaps the arm. They would have a weird match where Hawk dominated and Kurasawa got the pin. No idea what the point of it was but it’s WCW in 1995 so they likely didn’t either.

We get a clip from earlier in the night where Hogan had to fight off all of the Dungeon of Doom until Sting and Savage made the save. This isn’t the show I thought it was because Giant has already debuted.

Gene says Hawk might have a snapped elbow. Kurasawa’s manager, Colonel Parker, is there with his other team in the form of Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck. They’re feuding with Harlem Heat and at Fall Brawl they had the only wrestling match that actually put me to sleep. They say they’ll beat up Sister Sherri if she gets involved. Parker says he doesn’t love Sherri. That would change in the future. Buck and Slater are tag champions.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Alex Wright

Page is rich. Wright has no music. Wright grabs a very quick rollup and the fans aren’t exactly enthralled here. We go to the floor and Wright hits a nice dive. He really could have been something if he came in after the Cruiserweight division got going. Wright gets to show off even more, moonsaulting out of the corner like Daniel Bryan currently does. He hits a dropkick and a Vader Bomb for two.

Page takes over and Kimberly, the (I think) unnamed Diamond Doll gives him a ten. Swinging neckbreaker gets a two (count, not a score). Backslide gets two for Wright. This is a much better match than I expected. Wright starts his comeback and the crowd is DEAD. Spinwheel kick gets no cover but Wright gets a high knee for two.

Missile dropkick gets two. He goes for ten punches in the corner but Page walks out to send Alex head first into the buckle for another two. The crowd is just silent and it’s not really hurting the match. German suplex (Wright’s finisher) gets two and Page heads to the floor. Wright dives over the top but Page moves to let Wright crash. Page throws him back in for the pin.

Rating: B. This came out of nowhere and I got way into it even though I knew who won. When that happens in a match you know it’s good. Wright got to show off the entire time out there and the whole thing worked great. This is one of those matches that comes out of nowhere and means nothing but it was still incredibly entertaining. I might even say it was worth checking out, especially considering how bad Page was at this point. We’d call this a flash of brilliance.

Flair says he isn’t worried about Vader because Anderson will be watching his back. This would eventually lead to Anderson feeling used by Flair, setting up a great match at Fall Brawl. Flair rants a lot, saying Arn will protect him.

TV Title: Paul Orndorff vs. The Renegade

Why Orndorff was pushed in 1995 is beyond me but whatever. Renegade was literally an Ultimate Warrior knockoff (they called him the ULTIMATE surprise at one point) but was somehow even less coordinated in the ring. This was about as much of a disaster as you could get as no one, I mean NO ONE bought that he was the Warrior, namely because they only looked a bit alike. I was seven years old and I never bought it.

Renegade gets jumped while he still has the belt on and that gets him nowhere. Back in Orndorff gets something resembling a German suplex but it doesn’t have a snap to it. He drops some elbows as we see why he shouldn’t be getting this kind of a push in the mid to late 90s. Orndorff is simply not interesting. He’s dominating here and that means nothing as Renegade, who remember is supposed to be an Ultimate Warrior guy, hits a slingshot crossbody for the pin to retain. That and some right hands earlier were all of the offense he got.

Rating: F. This sums up Renegade in a nutshell: he isn’t very good, he gets beaten up too much, no one cares and the match sucked. Also he was stuck fighting guys like Paul Orndorff for the title. This was awful and thankfully DDP would get the title soon after this, I think next month.

Vader says he isn’t worried about Flair and Anderson and certainly isn’t scared of them.

After a break Gene talks about a Harley Davidson sweepstakes.

Ad for Fall Brawl. Vader would have left for the WWF by then but thankfully Luger jumped ship to take his place.

Video on Colonel Parker and company against Harlem Heat/Sherri. It’s a mixed tag. Harlem Heat wants the titles back which they would get in September.

Colonel Parker/Dick Slater/Bunkhouse Buck vs. Harlem Heat/Sister Sherri

Sherri tries to run at Parker but Harlem Heat holds her back. Parker is in khakis and a somewhat unbuttoned shirt. Slater vs. Ray to start us off and I can feel my eyes getting heavy already. Off to Booker and Buck and we’re told Hawk is being taken to a hospital. My goodness Buck and Slater are dull. Buck gets beaten on and it’s off to Slater again. Parker and Sherri have meant nothing at all so far.

Oh wait Sherri slapped Slater. Ok she has officially validated her spot in this match. Booker hits a side kick and we take a break to talk about a Harley Davidson which will be given away at Halloween Havoc. The winner will be announced at some show called Nitro. There’s talk of an Emmy award winning sportscaster coming to work on Nitro. It would be Mongo.

Back and Booker is getting beaten down. Buck hits a dropkick and it’s off to a bearhug. Now Slater puts on a bearhug for a little change of pace. Parker is tagged in and it’s the same stuff you would expect: he gets in some shots, they do nothing and it’s off to Sherri. Sherri goes up and misses a splash…and is out cold. Oh dear it’s the beginning of this angle. I’ll get to that in a minute. She gets up and jumps on Parker, kissing him and he falls down for a pin.

Rating: F+. These teams have the worst chemistry I have ever seen. It doesn’t help that Slater and Buck are the VERY southern style which means move………….very…………slowly……….. …..and………..don’t…………do………… much…………..zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anyway the point of this angle was that she hit her head (she didn’t) and it made her cuckoo so she loved Parker. She chases him down the aisle wanting more smooches. It’s as dumb as it sounds.

Hogan talks about riding on his motorcycle and letting a kid measure his arms. Words can’t really express how much I couldn’t stand late 95/early 96 Hogan, so I’ll leave this here. Hogan talks about being Irish and having his Irish family with him. “The O’Reilleys, the Hogan’s, the McMahon’s.” Yes he actually said that. This goes on for like 4 minutes and includes Hogan talking about wearing bikini briefs with his own face on them.

Some kid in a wheelchair is here. Every PPV buy gets one dollar from WCW for the MDA (muscular dystrophy). Ok I can’t make fun of them for that. The kid, a national spokesperson, can barely talk. Savage comes out to meet the kid. I can’t make fun of charity stuff. The kid is scared out of his mind but to be fair he’s got a disease and is probably in horrendous pain.

Video on Savage, who is awesome don’t you know. The music starts like his theme song and then goes into this weird version of it that sounds almost like dance music.

Hogan goes into the Dungeon of Doom which is an actual place. We cut there to see the Master and the Taskmaster in a cave or something and the stupidity of this still astounds me. I mean it’s just so low budget and campy. Hogan comes in and yells REALLY bad lines at him and there’s dust all over his head. He says bring all of the Dungeon on and Giant comes in to choke him down. The Dungeon beats him down until Vader makes the save. He and Giant have a staredown while Sting and Savage get Hogan out. Hey WCW, little tip: when we’re supposed to be in a cave/dungeon, DON’T LET US SEE THE ARENA LIGHTS.

The announcers jabber a bit.

Ad for Fall Brawl.

Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Vader

I love that black robe on Flair. Vader has the helmet/head thing on here which is always cool. I have no idea what the point of it is but whatever. They have to tag here and Anderson starts. Anderson is promptly mauled and has to chill in the corner for a bit. Vader sends him to the floor again and Flair gives him a pep talk but won’t get in. Vader responds by pounding him down because he’s Vader and Arn is any human being not named Hogan.

Arn manages to show off why he’s terribly underrated and snaps off a GREAT spinebuster on Vader. He didn’t almost drop Vader, he didn’t get him up like an inch, he didn’t look like he was having a hernia. He picked Vader up, spun him around and planted him. Flair comes in and the advantage is promptly lost. He gets dumped to the floor and Anderson has to come in and take Vader down again.

Flair looks at Vader and tags out again. The idea here again is that Anderson is doing about 80% of the work while Flair wants half of if not more of the glory. Anderson his the DDT, his finisher, but Flair wants in for the Figure Four. He gets a pretty bad version on but Vader grabs a rope. Flair goes up and Vader launches him through the air. There’s a splash and Arn has to make the save again. There’s a top rope splash and Arn breaks it up again. Anderson comes back in again and Vader destroys them both, powerbombing Anderson for the pin.

Rating: C+. Most of that is for Anderson and the psychology in there. The spinebuster was a thing of beauty and Flair not wanting to do anything was a great addition and it set up a great match at Fall Brawl. Vader would be gone almost immediately after this with no real explanation (the video at the PPV said he went AWOL) and this was his last WCW match.

Anderson and Flair argue post match and Anderson is MAD. Flair leaves him standing there.

Hogan, Savage and Sting come out to whine about the Dungeon. Andre is mentioned a lot. War is declared and Vader comes up and yells at Hogan about nothing of note. The idea was supposed to be Vader teaming up with them against the Dungeon but it never went anywhere.

Overall Rating: C-. This was all over the place to put it mildly. They were in a weird place at this point with Nitro a month away and Fall Brawl about six weeks away. You could definitely see the pieces coming together for it though and if the Dungeon of Doom had someone in the main event of that show worth anything (Giant wasn’t in it) then it would have been a lot more interesting. Either way, this wasn’t a great show but it put some pieces together for Anderson vs. Flair which was one of the only good things in 1995.


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